Why Should We Wash Our Sheets Regularly

Dear Home-Ec 101,
Could you please explain to my 14 year old daughter why it’s important to wash bed sheets regularly?
Skeeved in Skokie

why you should wash sheets
Heather says:
Absolutely, I’ll even do it in video so she doesn’t have to take the time to read, just stick it in her YouTube queue.

Here’s what it comes down to. Human beings are nasty creatures, we shed skin cells, sweat, and drool. When you’re in bed, you’re doing all of those things in one place for eight hours or so, creating a dust mite buffet. All things that eat also excrete, so you can choose to wash your sheets regularly or hang out with your new eight legged friends and their waste.

laundry tips and tricks

Click the picture for more tips!

Changing your pillow case regularly can also help clear up acne as you’ll no longer be wallowing in the oil and bacteria you left behind the night before. Just make sure to use white pillow cases if you’re using any topical acne medication. Many acne medications bleach fabric dyes, it’s much less noticeable if you use a white case.

Good luck, hope this helps your daughter see the light.

Send your domestic questions to helpme@home-ec101.com.


  1. Kathy on July 3, 2015 at 5:18 am

    I do laundry everyday for my household of 4 (including myself) to avoid laundry piles. However, on every weekend, I’d also wash the sheets in my household. Living in a hot and humid city like Kuala Lumpur; sweats, smells, odor, body oils surely is there. I even wash my comforters every week too.

    I love the feel of sleeping on a clean sheet. Also having cleaning sheets and mattress protectors prevents from bugs/ mites problems. I put lavender pack under the beds too so that it helps repels those pesky insects.

    Besides, doing laundry is kind of fun for me. It’s my most favorite house chores. Weird huh. Must be the clean scents feeling.

  2. Deja on May 17, 2013 at 2:56 pm

    Great, gross video! My 12 year old watched in horror and then promptly stripped the sheets from her bed and put them in the washing machine! I’ve told her EXACTLY the same information that you shared in your video, but obviously, your words carried a little more weight than mine and moved her to action!

    One thing I recently learned is that people who suffer from dust allergies are usually allergic to the feces of the dust mite, so for them, eliminating dust mites from their beds is extremely important. Washing your sheets in hot water every 2 weeks (at least) is important, but there are still going to be many, MANY dust mites living (and pooping) in your mattresses & pillows. There’s a fantastic product called Norwex Mattress Spray, that significantly decreases the number of dust mites by using non-toxic enzymes which out competes the dust mites for their food source, which happens to be our dead skin cells. After lightly misting it over your mattress, pillow, duvet, couch, etc., these little enzymes work their way through your mattress and encapsulates, and “digests” all the organic matter (skin cells, dead dust mites, & dust mite feces), turning them into CO2 & H2O, and the population of living, excreting dust mites takes a steep decline! It’s GREAT for anyone who suffers from dust allergies… and for snorers. About a week after I started using it, I noticed that my husbands snoring significantly lessened! WooHOO! If you want to learn more about the product, this article has more info., http://www.healthyhomecleaning.com/norwex-mattress-cleaner-review/.

  3. Mary G. on May 17, 2013 at 1:52 pm

    I hate to break it to ya’ll, but every last one of you, and ME, are literally COVERED in mites, bacteria, viruses and various other “wildlife” that constantly poop and pee all over us. It’s what causes “BO” in the first place – the bacteria that feed on your moist body oils in your nice dark bodily creases. We’re ALL a completely disgusting mass of fecal matter on the microscopic level. Get. Over. It.

    Take a shower every day (I prefer to do so at bedtime so all that wildlife is minimized while I sleep) and wash your bedsheets in HOT water every couple of weeks (more often if you don’t shower before bedtime).

    Mostly all those critters are BENEFICIAL to us, so don’t panic unnecessarily, and definitely don’t start using anti-bacterial soaps to bathe – SERIOUSLY. You NEED all those little microorganisms to survive. REALLY, you do.

  4. MaddieSimon on May 14, 2012 at 10:30 pm

    Definitely going to show this to my brother… the man child. 😉  He is going to be washing his sheets more than once a week from now on!  Thanks Heather!

  5. TheAmyTucker on January 24, 2012 at 7:31 pm

    AND, I threw up in my mouth a little. Great video but just *not* something I want to think about…ever. And now I have to go wash my sheets. In fire.

    • HeatherSolos on January 24, 2012 at 7:32 pm

      @TheAmyTucker I just want to note that your method is not endorsed by Home-Ec101.com or the manufacturer of your bedding. #justsayin

    • Raven on February 28, 2012 at 8:04 pm

       @TheAmyTucker  In fire 😀 that is awesome lol

  6. ElaineM on January 24, 2012 at 10:00 am

    This is so great! What a perfect explanation for a teen!

  7. hotmama2u79@gmail.com on January 23, 2012 at 1:56 pm

    Great post!

    • HeatherSolos on January 23, 2012 at 4:04 pm

      @hotmama2u79@gmail.com Thanks!

  8. Kellyology on January 23, 2012 at 11:58 am

    I will be playing this for my kids. Thanks Heather! LOL

    • HeatherSolos on January 23, 2012 at 4:04 pm

      @Kellyology I hope they are suitably disgusted.

  9. Caroline Bohn on January 23, 2012 at 10:39 am

    I remember moving my brother out of college in 2002, as we were packing up his room my mother found the ‘spare’ set of sheets she’d bought him as a freshman in 1998- still in the original packaging. Needless to say the bedsheets did not come home with him. .

    • HeatherSolos on January 23, 2012 at 4:06 pm

      @Caroline Bohn I’m sure there are worse stories out there, but still. Ick. Not that I was always perfectly hygienic as a teen. . .

  10. Marianne on January 22, 2012 at 10:37 pm

    This is also a good way to explain to kids (and some adults) why you should use a flat sheet on top of you and not just a comforter. It’s so much easier to wash that sheet than it is the heavier items. Speaking of which… Heather, assuming I’m changing my sheets regularly, and that I use a flat sheet between me and my blanket, how often should I be washing the blankets?

    Also… I love the idea of having videos on your site. Definitely do more of them.

  11. carnellm on January 22, 2012 at 9:36 pm

    Too funny. My wife loved it and showed it to our son. He said he had no problem sleeping in bug poop. Let’s hear it for 16 year old boys!

  12. BevE on January 22, 2012 at 4:47 pm

    I couldn’t have said it better myself : D And if you have pets in the house just think of that sweet little kitten or dog doing their business and then coming to snuggle with you in bed and since I’ve never seen a cat or dog wearing underwear you can bet their leaving a little something behind from their ‘behinds’ . YUCK!

  13. Bobbie Laughman on January 22, 2012 at 4:15 pm

    I played this for my son because he wanted to know what you sound like, and ended up with him saying he’s going to wash his sheets more often. THANK YOU!!!

    • HeatherSolos on January 22, 2012 at 4:16 pm

      @Bobbie Laughman well I guess I can safely say I’ve done my good deed for the day.

  14. roseann on January 22, 2012 at 3:13 pm

    haha, this is such a cute and friendly explanation!

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